Metro Area Events Commemorate Orlando Shooting Victims

June 13, 2016 07:57 AM

A shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was on the minds of many Minnesotans Sunday.

The city of Golden Valley celebrated its first Pride Festival on Sunday, which included an interfaith service, food trucks, inflatables, community booths and multiple concerts. There was also a moment of silence to honor the victims of the shooting.

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In the 2010 census, 2.2 percent of Golden Valley households self-identified as gay, which is the highest proportion for a community in the state of Minnesota.

The celebration ran from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brookview Park. The event was privately funded and organized.

Later in the day, a vigil for the victims of the nightclub shooting was conducted by Outfront Minnesota at Loring Park in Minneapolis.

"Community breeds positiveness and community breeds taking care of each other, and when we accept each other with our diversity we grow to value each other and then when we value each other we accept each other, then we start to support each other, so it's circular," Jerry Rubino, with the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, said.

Rainbow-colored lights will also illuminate the Lowry Avenue bridge and the Interstate 35W bridge to honor the victims of the mass shooting.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who requested the I-35W bridge be lighted through Thursday, issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting:

The horrific act of hatred and terror in Orlando was an unfathomable attack upon all of humanity. Our hearts go out to the innocent victims of that heinous assault.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau issued a statement Sunday afternoon regarding the shooting:

On behalf of the entire MPD, we are sending our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shootings in Orlando. Along with the rest of the nation and law enforcement community, we grieve with the victim's families and the people in Florida. The mass shooting that's occurred is shocking, sad and intolerable. The MPD wants to reassure residents and visitors in our city that we remain vigilant and committed to ensuring people are safe at large scale events with significant crowds. We continue to be in constant communication with our federal partners to make that possible. We stand with and protect all of our citizens in the fight against violence of any kind, including crime driven by hate to instill fear.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar also released a statement regarding the shooting:

"This is a sad day for Orlando and a sad day for America. Innocent people were slaughtered by a man who was motivated by hate and terror and extremism. I stand with the LGBT community today, and my prayers are with the victims. We must root out terrorism abroad and at home."


Jennie Lissarrague & Rebecca Omastiak

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